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Planning Your Christmas Marketing Strategy Now (If You Haven’t Already)

We can’t deny it any longer. With Black Friday now a distant memory and Michael Bublé ringing in our ears, it can only mean one thing; Christmas is well and truly here. But just because we’ve hit December, doesn’t mean we can put our feet up just yet. There’s still a lot of work to be done if you want to deliver a successful online Christmas marketing campaign this year.

I’ll be honest, I am one of those people you see on Christmas Eve, fighting fellow last-minute shoppers for the single remaining box of quality street and the most outrageous pair of Christmas socks.

And it seems I am not alone.

The latest insights from Google reveal that “last minute is getting later and later for holiday shoppers and today’s empowered consumers still expect to be able to buy—and do so seamlessly—right up to Christmas Day”.

So if you haven’t already implemented your Christmas marketing campaign, there’s still time to take advantage of this increasingly popular last-minute shopping trend and get some all-important sales right until the end of the month.

This helpful guide will help you devise and implement an integrated online Christmas marketing strategy for your business.

 

Planning Your Online Christmas Marketing Activities

As with all successful online marketing campaigns, you will need to establish your goals first and think carefully about how you are going to achieve them. You should take all elements of organic and paid search into account, making any required on-site changes, optimising your website for mobile and getting the very best out of your Google Shopping campaigns by making simple changes such as updating your data feed.

Other preparations include:

  • Forecasting your budget and establishing your KPIs based on historical data.
  • Creating editorial and promotional calendars to map out Christmas-related content and promotions week by week.
  • Prepare contingency plans with your workforce or agency in case anything should go wrong.

It is important to develop a structured seasonal calendar that brings all your online marketing ideas for Christmas together in a coherent manner.

This will help you ensure that everyone is on the same page as far as content and promotions are concerned, and that the relevant people are ready to take action as soon as any problems arise.

 

Promoting Your Christmas Merchandise

Once you have a Christmas marketing strategy in place, you need to make sure your festive product pages are well optimised and easy to find.

  • Create a Christmas category on your site for seasonal and bestselling products.
  • Check that all product descriptions and meta data in this section are clear and well optimised, with up-to-date pricing and delivery information.
  • Ensure that you’re making the most of seasonally-relevant keywords.
  • Align your ads with your promotional calendar.
  • Prioritise your Christmas and top performing products, focusing on the keywords that bring the most volume.

 

Building on Your Seasonal Marketing Strategy

Now that you have the basics down, you will need to fine-tune your seasonal marketing campaign to cater for the ongoing shift in consumers’ buying habits. Target mobile and tablet users with mobile-optimised pages, and by increasing location bids for searches occurring close to a store location.

With Google also stating that “over 40% of online transactions are now done on mobile”, ensuring your pages are mobile-friendly is a bit of a no-brainer.

You should also look to maximise the relevance of your ads by drawing more attention to those with extensions, such as sitelinks and callout extensions. In particular, highlight seasonal promotions and products with local inventory ads or product ratings to accentuate your credibility and set yourself apart from the competition.

Continually monitor your spend to make sure you’re not going over budget, and ruthlessly prioritise your high performing campaigns to keep your strategy targeted. If you find that you need more volume, target easy wins; if you’re under pacing, up your bids on keywords that deliver high profits but have low impression share.

Delivering a successful seasonal marketing strategy is by no means simple. It involves meticulous planning, implementation and analysis, as well as a good degree of flexibility. If you start to feel snowed under, just remember that all the hard work will soon pay off and before you know it, it’ll all be over – well, at least for another year.

If you need assistance with your upcoming Christmas activity, we have a number of paid strategists ready to take the reins and steer your Christmas marketing campaigns in the right direction.

We have been helping businesses to get the very best out of the Christmas retail period and will work closely with you to create a detailed strategy that is tailored to your business objectives. Call 01423 701711 or browse our website for further information on our PPC management services.

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